Stuart Bingham usually has a decent following in London for the Dafabet Masters – and a first world title last May did not exactly dampen demand among friends and family for the man from Basildon.

The world No2 estimated that he had to get hold of “around 60-70” tickets for his Sunday night first-round match against Ding Junhui, giving him a very solid support base in the Alexandra Palace arena.

Players receive 10 complimentary tickets at the Masters but are also afforded the right to buy additional ones at a discounted rate, an option the 39-year-old Bingham had to exercise, keeping him very busy in the build-up.

Extra seats have been installed this year bringing the capacity to just below 2,000, a figure that looks certain to set a record for the venue for Ronnie O’Sullivan’s already virtually sold-out clash with Mark Williams on Tuesday.